WHITFIELD PENTECOSTAL FELLOWSHIP: HISTORY
In 1945 the winds of revival began to blow in the Whitfield Community. This small community in North Santa Rosa County, Florida, began experiencing a great move of God. Brother Bennie Franklin and Brother Charlie Middlebrookes, both from Pace, Florida, began a series of revival meetings that would give birth to what would later become Whitfield Assembly of God Church. These meetings were held in the Whitfield Community Church located on the opposite side of Highway 87 and South of the current church location.
In late 1945 the church elected Brother Franklin as Pastor and later the church was organized under the leadership of Rev. Glyn Lowery Sr. who was the Sectional Presbyter of the West Florida District of the Assemblies of God. In 1946 Whitfield Assembly of God was chartered as a General Council affiliated Church of the Assemblies of God.
During Brother Franklin’s time as Pastor the church experienced great blessings and the moving of God’s spirit, leaving many great testimonies of God’s grace. In 1946 land was donated by Brother and Sister Luther Whitfield across Highway 87 at the Church’s current location, and a new church building was erected.
Brother Franklin pastored the church for about two and a half years, then left for about a year during which time Brother Ed McDonald was Pastor. Brother Franklin, at the church’s request then returned as Pastor, during which time the church would build a parsonage on the church grounds. In 1948 Brother Franklin again resigned due to illness, and on February 25th, 1949 went home to be with the Lord having been a faithful servant of Jesus Christ.
There have been many that have served as Pastor at Whitfield since Brother Franklin and they are as follows: Brother Lonnie Rathel, who pastored twice, Sis. Crosby, Brother James Pennington, Brother Clayton Jones, Brother Tim Rathel, Brother James Hulion, Brother Joel White, Brother Grady sowell, Brother Nathan Arrant, Brother Nichols, Brother Roger Cook, Brother T. V. Kalmetz, Brother Addison Peaden, Brother James Ates, Brother Leonard Wilcox, Brother Alvin Kolb, Brother Thomas Cronier and current Pastor Brother Joseph Gillman.
The church has progressed and moved forward under each pastor’s ministry. During the pastorate of Brother James Ates the present church building and parsonage was built with the church being debt free just a short time afterward. During Brother Kolb’s pastorate the current fellowship hall was built debt free. There have been other improvments made to the buildings and equipment as God blessed and led.
In 2010 the church elected to become an independent body and reorganized as Whitfield Pentecostal Fellowship Church. The church has had many ministries over the years including shortwave broadcasts into middle-eastern countries and South America. The church currently maintains a local radio broadcast “Whitfield Word of Life” on WTJT Radio 90.1 FM and ministry through the Church’s website which can be accessed at www.whitfieldpentecostalfellowship.org/ or https://whitfieldpfc.org/.
We still hold to our old line Pentecostal heritage, we still love to sing from Hymnals in our worship services and we still preach and believe the uncompromising Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!